Jesus had many titles; some people referred to him as ‘Rabbi,’ others as ‘teacher,’ and he often referred to himself as ‘son of man.’ Another common title of Jesus used in the Bible is ‘son of God.’However, is the Bible clear that Jesus is God’s son? Is Jesus God’s son?
Though Jesus is referred to as God’s son, he is not literally God’s biological son, but God manifests in human form. John 10:30 says, “I and the Father are one.” Therefore, though Jesus was recognized as the Son of God in several ways in the Bible, the same scripture clearly shows that he was fully God and fully human. Jesus Christ was conceived by a mortal mother and immortal Father, God.
So, what does the son of God mean? Why is Jesus often called the son of God? Did Jesus refer to himself as the son of God? Why did Jesus refer to himself as the son of man? Where in the Bible does it mention Jesus as the son of God? Is Jesus God’s biological son? Is the son of God the same as God the son? Continue reading to get the answers to these questions and more.
What does the son of God mean?
Anybody can easily assume that God is the biological Father of Jesus when he is called the son of God. However, this is not the case regarding the relationship between God and Jesus. Bible scholars note that Jesus is referred to as the son of God because he exemplified a perfect relationship with God, the Father. John 4:34 says, “Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of him who sent me to accomplish his work.”
Theologians also note that Jesus, being referred to as the ‘son of God,’ was a representation of him as a second person in the Trinity. Jesus could not have been a biological son of God because he says in the gospel of John that he and the Father are one.
Why is Jesus often called the son of God?
When people call Jesus the son of God, they often refer to its connection to the Trinity. The scripture notes that God exists eternally as three unique persons, the son, the Father, and the Spirit. Mathew 3:16-17 captures the three persons of God, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, this is my son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”
Did Jesus refer to himself as the son of God?
The Bible indicates that Jesus referred to himself as the son of God. John 5:18 reads, “For this reason, therefore, the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was breaking the Sabbath and calling God his father, making himself equal with God.”
The accusations that the Jews channeled toward Jesus clearly indicated that he had called his Father. However, in John 10:33, Jesus says that he is one with the Father. Therefore, Jesus did not only claim that he was the son of God but also equated himself to God.
Why did Jesus refer to himself as the son of man?
Often in the Bible, Jesus refers to himself as the son of man. Even when the high priests asked him in the book of Mathew 26:63 whether he was the son of God, he answered by calling himself the son of man. Mathew 26:64, “Jesus said to him, you have said so. But I tell you, from now on, you will see the son of man seated at the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heavens.”
Scholars conclude that Jesus referred to himself as the son of man to depict perfect humanity and relate to the very same people he came to save. Referring to himself as the son of man also shows humility.
Where in the Bible does it mention Jesus as the son of God?
There are several instances where Jesus is mentioned in the Bible as the son of God. Luke 1:35 says, “And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you, therefore, the child to be born will be called holy, the son of God.”
Mathew 26:63 says, “But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the son of God.”
John 19:7 reads, “The Jews answered him, we have a law, and according to the law he ought to die because he himself the son of God.”
Is Jesus God’s biological son?
The title of Jesus as Son of God does not mean that God is the Father of Jesus, just like our earthly fathers. God did not get married anywhere in the Bible, nor did he have a mate to conceive a son. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.” Verse 14 of the same book goes on and says, “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
This clearly indicates that just because Jesus humbled himself to be born by a woman does not mean that he is God’s biological son. He is entirely God and fully man.
What does ‘God’s only begotten son’ mean?
Though the Bible does not state the exact meaning of begotten son, theologians and scholars posit that this phrase describes Jesus as the only person born of an immortal father and a mortal mother. In this case, he possessed the divine powers of his Father but was in a human body like the mother.
What is the Jewish context of Jesus as the son of God?
The phrase “Son of God” is used in Hebrew to describe people with a special connection and relationship with God. The book of Exodus refers to Israel as God’s firstborn son. Exodus 4:22 says, “So you will say to Pharaoh, thus says the Lord, Israel is my son, my firstborn.”
Is the ‘son of God’ also used to describe the Messiah?
Theologians and bible readers believe that the phrase Son of God was also used to describe the Messiah. Psalms 2:12 refers to the anointed one as the Son of God. It is clear in the New Testament that Jesus was the anointed one. Mathew 1:16 says, “And Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.”
How was the phrase ‘son of God’ used in the Old Testament?
The Old Testament uses the phrase “son of God” to refer to those people that God had a good relationship with. As seen above in the book of Exodus, God called Israel his firstborn (Hosea 11:1). Moreover, the Old Testament also refers to angels as sons of God. Job 2:1 says, “Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the Lord.”
Why is the Messiah described as a servant of God in the Old Testament instead of as a son of God?
Even in the New Testament, Jesus loved to describe himself as a servant of God rather than his son. He says he came on earth to fulfill the will of God, who had sent him. John 4:34 says, “Jesus said to them, my food is to do the will of him who sent me to accomplish his work.”
Is the son of God the same as God the son?
Bible readers believe that the son of God is the same as God the son. Jesus Christ, who is God the son of the Trinity, is the same person who was referred to as the son of God. Mathew 3:16-17 reads, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment, heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, this is my son, whom I love; with him, I am well pleased.”